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Diners' Choice: Californian restaurants in San Diego

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants with the best overall Californian cuisine in San Diego? You’re in the right place. Each month OpenTable analyzes more than 400,000 new diner reviews. We sort the results by category to help you discover new favorites. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of Addison Restaurant restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1884)
$50 and over
Californian
Del Mar
About the restaurant
Addison, Southern California’s first three-star Michelin restaurant, showcases the beauty and allure of California Gastronomy. Chef William Bradley offers his distinct culinary perspective through an experience that celebrates regional ingredients and influences. With its picturesque views of the surrounding hillside, the dining room creates a transportive setting for Bradley’s ten-course tasting menu. To further enhance the experience, Addison’s 10,000 bottle wine program showcases small producers, rare Champagnes, and new discoveries from around the world.

Since 2006, the purity and precision of Addison's approach has led to global recognition for the restaurant and the San Diego culinary scene. Addison is among an exclusive selection of stand-alone Relais & Châteaux restaurants worldwide, and, in addition to its three-star Michelin designation, is honored on La Liste. It has consistently received the highest recognition from Wine Spectator for its wine program.
Top review
LouiseE
Dined on Apr 1, 2023
worth every penny and every calorie - bravo chef bradley and staff!
A photo of The Veranda Restaurant restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1440)
$30 and under
Californian
Fallbrook
About the restaurant
While dining at the most atmospheric restaurant in Fallbrook, you can gaze at our sparkling lake and gorgeous grounds while enjoying a delicious meal prepared with seasonal produce from our on-site vegetable and fruit gardens. We offer patio heaters during the winter months and fans during the warmer months. Reservations are recommended. Enjoy a stroll through our many gardens before or after you dine at The Veranda.
Top review
KristyL
Dined 3 days ago
Nice place for Sunday Brunch. The grounds are beautiful and the food is really good.
A photo of Paradisaea restaurant
4.7
4.7 (476)
$50 and over
Californian
La Jolla
About the restaurant
A celebration of food, cocktails, art, and warm hospitality. Housed in the historic Piano Building, in the heart of the vibrant community of Bird Rock, Paradisaea is a destination restaurant and bar, that San Diegans frequent for crave-able, accessible fare, executed at the highest level.

Top review
LotzMvip
Dined 2 days ago
Good quality & perfectly seasoned food, service was top notch, thanks to our amazing server Taylor , knowledgeable & attentive from start to finish, then the ambiance was soothing & sets the mood for a perfect dining experience. Overall expect nothing less than an exceptional culinary journey that reflects the passion & dedication poured into every detail. Highly recommend this paradise.
A photo of Herb & Wood restaurant
4.8
4.8 (6143)
$31 to $50
Californian
Little Italy
About the restaurant
A timeless, sought-after dining escape, celebrated Chef Brian Malarkey opened Herb & Wood to instant acclaim over four years ago. In that time, the restaurant has become an icon, a dining destination that has helped to propel San Diego's culinary reputation to new heights. By focusing on rustic, wood-fired dishes, Chef Malarkey's menu elevates humble ingredients such as carrots, beets, and chicken, incorporating Mediterranean flavors and a California ethos of seasonality and sustainability.
Top review
LiaBvip
Dined 3 days ago
We had such a great dinner here. We were sitting on the indoor patio side with the open roof. It was a perfect night for it. The restaurant wasn't loud and the service by Troy and food were simply divine. We ordered the goat cheese and mushroom starter. It was a generous portion and absolutely delicious. For dinner we had the Branzino and the Gnocci with sides of carrots and zucchini. Every dish was fantastic. The zucchini was a seasonal dish and I HIGHLY recommend it. I didn't know zucchini could be this good. Lastly we ordered the strawberry souffle for dessert. Again, absolutely wonderful flavors. This is def in my top 2 favorite restaurants in San Diego. Can't wait to go back.
A photo of Grant Grill restaurant
4.8
4.8 (1573)
$31 to $50
Californian
Downtown
About the restaurant
A remarkable epicurean experience awaits you at Grant Grill and Lounge. From the iconic, chic setting to our fresh California cuisine and innovative libations, Grant Grill and Lounge carries a tradition of excellence rich in history (since 1951) and history-in-the-making. Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus highlight the best ingredients of the season with a fresh approach to classics. From the bar, proprietary beverage creations are offered alongside an impressive menu of wine, beer and cocktails.
Top review
Robtsdcavip
Dined 6 days ago
Great breakfast, fabulous mimosa. Service was great.
A photo of NINE-TEN restaurant
4.7
4.7 (2831)
$31 to $50
Californian
La Jolla
About the restaurant
Led by award-winning, nationally-recognized chef Jason Knibb, NINE-TEN offers the perfect combination of sophistication and casual elegance and an ideal location along lively Prospect Street in the Village of La Jolla. Recognized with MICHELIN distinction, NINE-TEN’s globally-inspired, locally-sourced cuisine features the best of the harvest from local artisans where products are selected daily for the restaurant’s seasonal menus. Dine indoors or al fresco on our sidewalk patio or back terrace with peek views of the Pacific Ocean. Heaters and blankets are available during the colder weather. Private dining rooms are also available for groups of 8 or more. Breakfast is served Wednesday through Friday, 7 am to 11 am. Brunch is served Saturday & Sunday, 7 am to 2 pm. Lunch is served Wednesday through Friday, 11:30 am to 2 pm. And dinner service is available Wednesday through Sunday, 5 pm to 9 pm. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Top review
Peggyvip
Dined 2 days ago
Wonderful cacio de pepe! service was great and the atmosphere was beautiful on the courtyard patio.
A photo of Herb & Sea restaurant
4.6
4.6 (2628)
$30 and under
Californian
Encinitas
About the restaurant
Blending classic East Coast culinary traditions with a modern Californian sensibility, Herb & Sea is Chef Brian Malarkey’s venerable companion restaurant to the much-loved Herb & Wood in Little Italy. Quickly becoming one of the most sought-after tables in town, the concept shines with a menu that focuses on simple, clean, bright flavors. Located steps from Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, the vibrant space is housed in a 1920’s art deco building that has been restored to its original glory.

Daily operations are helmed by Executive Chef Aidan Owens. The menu includes a mix of raw bar staples, fresh seafood, meat dishes, and roasted vegetables. A variety of pizzas and pastas round out the offerings, alongside dessert and a dedicated kids’ menu.

The spirits program is bright and playful, emphasizing citrus and floral notes that utilize the same ingredients found on the menu. The wine list offers a similar sense of whimsy, highlighting labels meant to complemen
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
Wine selections lean expensive, but a few small dishes to split are perfect for a date night.
A photo of Ponto Lago - Park Hyatt Aviara restaurant
4.7
4.7 (985)
$50 and over
Californian
Carlsbad
About the restaurant
Immerse yourself into a refined modern setting featuring Baja-inspired cuisine and specialty cocktails composed of mezcal and tequila. Enjoy a show kitchen allowing you to get an inside look behind the scenes bringing Chef's creations to center stage. Locally sourced cuisine with a coastal flair is the cornerstone of this fine dining Baja-inspired experience.

Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 6 days ago
Alejandro was such an amazing waiter! he truly made our experience so special and celebrating our birthday there was such a special event! Def going back!
A photo of AVANT restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1605)
$30 and under
Californian
Poway / Rancho Bernardo
About the restaurant
AVANT is the signature restaurant at Rancho Bernardo Inn, offering elevated contemporary California cuisine that unites culinary influences and flavors from Baja California with French techniques and inspiration. Crafted by Chef de Cuisine Sergio Jimenez, the seasonal menu uses the freshest local ingredients and produce from The Inn's on-site garden. Regional Sommelier & Cellar Master Joe Baumgardner has curated an award-winning wine cellar for AVANT, from limited production wines around the globe to bio-dynamically farmed selections, offering the perfect pairing for each course. AVANT's cocktail program, created by mixologist Jason Sorge, serves up imaginative libations ranging from light to direct, all complemented by playful presentations and artistic touches. The essential San Diego dining experience is set in inviting indoor and outdoor spaces with stunning views of the surrounding resort.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
Food was very not the best but the views did make up for it!
A photo of Ki's Restaurant restaurant
4.6
4.6 (974)
$30 and under
Californian
Cardiff By The Sea
About the restaurant
During these trying times, we are trying to adjust our service so that customers feel safe but still have a great Ki's experience. Daytime service is as it always has been: order at the counter and the food will be brought to you in the seating area we have created outside under the tents. Night-time is full service. Sunday through Thursday is upstairs. The tables are spaced far apart and there is an option of being out on the front deck for parties of two. On Friday and Saturday, we will be offering full service in both seating areas of upstairs and under the tents outside.
Ki's is a perfect fit for its local beach community culture. We provide food options that serve the needs of people who enjoy the outdoors and have a high degree of awareness for their health, fitness and well being. And Ki's is more than just a 'health food' option for many. It is simply great food for anyone-professionals, families looking for a home-cooked meal or friends hanging out enjoying some tasty eats.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
Love the food and atmosphere. I especially like the live music on Fridays, especially Adrienne Nims.
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